Alrighty, so this is my first Instuctable, so go easy on me.
So for a project for school, I had to make some sort of product and then post the product's results or how you made this product to the community, so i made an Instuctable on how to build it.
Making this system is relatively easy, and I designed it with flexibility in mind, meaning you can make the measurements, according to your bin sizes. Piece o' cake. So to make this, the materials you'll need:
-A simple cheap pump (I got mine at Harbor Freight for 12 bucks)
-4 bins, 3 small ones for growing plants, and one large one for the fish
-Fine Pea Gravel
You'll also need a drill, screws, measuring tape, the works.
Step 1: Da Plans
So most of the plans I created in my head, so i don't have much to show for it, except these few sketches, but you get the idea. I did create plans on Google Sketchup, but it kept crashing, so I couldn't make the 3D plans. But basically you'll want to make a level surface out of three two by fours, and have them as wide as your bins. Attach them at the ends, and in the middle. Have the attaching 2 x 4s extend to the width of your fish tank bin. You'll also need to have three tiers. Tier one; the original surface, tier two; a couple of inches higher than the first, and tier three; double the height of tier two. Once this is built, tip the entire thing at a diagonal, so the water spills into the lower bin. Then screw on legs on to the original three plank attachers, so the legs fit snugly around the fish bin.
Step 2: Pump
So, your gong to want the pump at the bottom of your fish tank and run tubing up to the first bin at the top tier. Pretty self explanatory.
Step 3: Fish and Plants
First, plants. The plants are relatively easy. You are going to need plants that have sprouted and have a root system, as a seed would get wished away in the current. First remove ALL soil from their roots. Unless you are extremely careful, you're going to be tearing parts of the roots off. It happens. Don't let it happen to much. Once Your done with that, simply dig a hole in the gravel, and place the root in it. Done.
Now, fish. I recommend tilapia, as they are very hardy. BUT, before you place them in the system, you'll need to get the ammonia eating bacteria and pH levels right, because if you don't do this, they'll die. They're a variety of different methods of doing this, from peeing in the system, to using explosive chemicals. However, I used fish I found in my local creek, and simply took water from the creek, so I don't know much about raising the pH levels. Go find it on the web.
Step 4: All Done!
That's it folks! Feel free to make any modifications you want to.